Speros sees no football without CFL Owner doesn't believe Browns will be here in '96

January 07, 1996|By Kevin Eck | Kevin Eck,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

In perhaps a last-ditch effort to urge people to support the Stallions' season-ticket drive, owner Jim Speros warned fans that if his CFL team relocates, there will be no football played here next season.

"Watching what's happening right now in the NFL, I don't believe the Cleveland Browns will be here in 1996," Speros said yesterday during a news conference at Memorial Stadium. "If we leave this market, there will be no football in Baltimore in 1996.

"I want the people out there to know because I don't think they've gotten the full story yet. People aren't just letting their football teams take off without court hearings and processes. They've got ways of stopping the Cleveland Browns from coming here next year."

Maryland Stadium Authority chairman John Moag said that Speros' comments were not cause for concern.

"I'd only be concerned if [Browns owner] Art Modell said that," Moag said. "If anybody else says it, it doesn't faze me in the least.

"Jim hasn't been the best fortune teller when it comes to predicting what the NFL will do. If I remember right, two or three days before the announcement of the Browns' move, Jim said we'd never get an NFL franchise in Baltimore."

Speros, in town after three days of meetings with Houston officials about the possibility of moving the team there, reiterated yesterday that the Stallions will remain in town if the goal of 20,000 season tickets is met by tomorrow, or if a promise of financial relief is offered in tomorrow's meeting with city officials.

If neither is accomplished, Speros said he will announce on Tuesday that the team is leaving. Speros has stated that Houston has the edge over Richmond, Va., and Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley among the three possible relocation sites.

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